These are the brands you’re not going to find at Costco

Sometimes it seems like you can find anything in the massive, product-lined shelves of Costco. After all, it sells everything from wedding cakes made of cheese, to coffins, to advent calendars for your dog. However, there are some famous brands that you just won’t find at Costco, and often for some pretty dramatic reasons.

Take the famous jewelry brand, Tiffany & Co jewelry. If you’re scratching your head, thinking: “I thought I saw Tiffany jewelry at Costco once,” you may have seen jewelry labeled “Tiffany’s”… but it wasn’t authentic (via HuffPost). In fact, back in 2013, the company filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Costco for selling rings with the misleading moniker, and it’s not the only brand that has beef with famous the warehouse chain.

In 2009, after Coca-Cola refused to give Costco the price they wanted, they responded by pulling all Coca-Cola products from their shelves. This power move seemed effective, because after just a month of further negotiations, the soda brand was back on Costco shelves. However, the peace was short lived, and in 2013 a similar price disagreement led to Costco pulling Coca-Cola from their food court and replacing it with Pepsi. Just another example of why brands should avoid getting on Costco’s bad side.

Brands that eventually made nice with Costco

This trend of Costco hard-lining brands for better prices is actually pretty common, with the store even going so far as to pull Apple products in 2010, according to HuffPost. Luckily, the brands have since made amends and Costco has resumed stocking their products (via Costco).

However, these hard stances on price negotiations aren’t just for brands that compete with Kirkland. In fact, according to The New York Times, once Starbucks failed to pass along savings when coffee beans dropped in price, and as a result Costco chief executive Jim Sinegal warned his friend and Starbucks chairman, Howard Schultz, that he would remove Starbucks products from Costco stores unless they cut prices accordingly. Starbucks relented, but not without Schultz asking Sinegal: “Who do you think you are? The price police?” Sinegal responded emphatically that he was just that. As a result, you can still find Starbucks products at Costco stores and online (via Costco). 

Now, it seems, the Kirkland brand has taken over much of that “price policing,” simply by offering fair prices for comparable products that pressure name-brand competitors like Poland Springs and even Gillette to drop their prices just to compete (via CNN).

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